Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 26 April 2013 - 07:43pm IST
Preview : Match 36 – RR vs SRH
Battle to stay in top half
Match 36 – which marks the half-way stage of the league phase of Pepsi IPL 2013 – will feature the Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
There is a lot in common with both these teams. Both teams come into this contest having suffered defeats in their previous matches.. Both teams posted competitive totals in their previous matches against CSK, yet could not defend them. While RR could not defend 185, 11 runs in the final over, SRH could not defend 159, 15 in the final over.
Further, both these teams are not among the more fancied teams in the competition – yet they have punched above their weights regularly.
As the tournament enters the second half, both teams will hope to return to their winning ways yet and keep their place among the top four teams in the competition.
Saturday, April 27, 2013, 4 p.m
Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur
The runs scored by the Rajasthan Royals top three – consisting of Shane Watson, Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Dravid – has a direct bearing on how the team fares. The team has successfully used the ploy of having one, either Rahane or Dravid to drop anchor, allowing the likes of Watson, Stuart Binny and Brad Hodge to go after quick runs. On the bowling front, RR seems to have discovered a gem in James Faulkner; the Australian bowls quick, seems to thrive in pressure conditions, and has picked up wickets in every single match.
With Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order, SRH have one half of the openers puzzle solved. The southpaw missed the first few games due to injury but timed the ball beautifully in his return to the team. In Dhawan, Cameron White and Thisara Perera, SRH have three players who can win games single-handedly. In the bowling department, Dale Steyn will still be breathing fire after MS Dhoni’s assault on Thursday night. Expect him to come all charged up. Also keep an eye on Amit Mishra (who needs one more wicket to become the leading wicket-taker in the IPL) and Karan Sharma, who bowled beautifully in the match against CSK.
This is the first time these two teams will be meeting. However, the Rajasthan Royals have generally dominated their contests against the Hyderabad franchise. Against the earlier Hyderabad franchise Deccan Chargers, RR has won seven off their 9 matches.
Sunrisers Hyderabad has the best bowling economy rate of all the nine teams competing this season – 6.96.
RR’s James Faulkner has picked up a wicket in each of his last nine T20 matches. He has a tally of 19 wickets in his last nine T20 matches.
The Rajasthan Royals next host table toppers Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 29 while Sunrisers Hyderabad head back home to host the Mumbai Indians on May 1.